Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant accused the European Parliament of giving in to the facile stigmatisation of countries like Malta, making his last intervention before Parliament’s recess. The Maltese MEP explained why he had abstained on the final vote on the text of the resolution ‘Negotiations with Council and Commission on European Parliament’s right of inquiry’ during the last session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg before its recess leading to the European elections next May.
The Maltese MEP said the European Parliament has recently been making increasing use of its investigative rights with special and inquiry committees following major scandals. The TAXE committee, established after LuxLeaks, or the EMIS committee focusing on emission measurements in the automotive sector, showed the Parliament’s ability to contribute significantly to the European public debate.
Exercises have been carried to understand how and why such maladministration and breaches of EU law have been happening and subsequent policy options to tackle them have been proposed. The first TAXE Committee set out ideas for transparent taxation across the EU and called for a legislative proposal on country-by-country reporting of companies’ profits, tax and subsidies, about which the Commission announced its plans a few months later.
“One would have expected this Parliament, especially with regard to the recent TAXE 3 committee, to deploy the best available methodologies and proceedings in its evaluation of taxation policies and financial services. Rather, it has given in to facile stigmatization of certain countries, notably my country Malta, business sectors and professions.”
The former Prime Minister said the limits of the European Parliament’s investigative rights were quickly reached as soon as tax populism and generalized statements replaced objective proceedings. Unfortunately this deeply questions the credibility and effectiveness of the Parliament’s right of inquiry.

Maltese Version – ALFRED SANT JIXLI L-PARLAMENT EWROPEW B’STIGMATIZZAZZJONI SUPERFIĊJALI TA’ MALTA

Fl-aħħar intervent tiegħu qabel għalaq il-Parlament Ewropew, Alfred Sant qal li l-Parlament Ewropew qed iċedi għal stigmatizzazzjoni superfiċjali ta’ Malta. L-ex Prim Ministru Laburista qal dan meta spjega għala kien qed jastjeni fuq riżoluzzjoni dwar in-Negozjati mal-Kunsill u mal-Kummissjoni Ewropea dwar id-dritt għal inkjesti mill-Parlament Ewropew fl-aħħar sessjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew fi Strasbrurgu qabel isiru l-elezzjonijiet Ewropej.
Alfred Sant qal li riċentement il-Parlament Ewropew beda juża d-drittijiet investigattivi tiegħu b’kumitati speċjali ta’ inkjesta wara li kien hemm bosta skandli. Il-Kumitat tat-TAXE, imwaqqaf wara l-iskandlu tal-LUXLEAKS, l-emissjonijiet fis-settur tal-karozzi urew il-ħila tal-Parlament li jikkontribwixxi sew fid-dibattitu pubbliku Ewropew.
Alfred Sant qal li saru eżerċizzji biex ikun magħruf il-ksur tal-liġi Ewropea f’dan ir-rigward. L-ewwel Kumitat tat-TAXE ħareġ b’ideat għal tassazzjoni aktar trasparenti fl-UE u sejjaħ għal proposta leġislattiva f’kull rapport minn stat għal ieħor tal-UE dwar il-profitti, taxxi u sussidji tal-kumpaniji. Dwar dan il-Kummissjoni Ewropea ħabbret pjani xhur wara.
“Wieħed għalhekk kien jistenna li dal-Parlament, speċjalment dwar il-Kumitat tat-TAXE 3, juża l-aqwa metodoloġiji u proċeduri fl-evalwazzjoni tal-politika tat-tassazzjoni u tas-servizzi finanzjarji. Minflok, dal-Parlament ċeda għal stigmatizzazzjoni superfiċjali ta’ ċerti pajjiżi, l-aktar pajjiżi Malta, setturi tan-negozji u professjonijiet.”
L-ex Prim Ministru Malti qal li l-limitazzjonijiet tad-drittijiet investigattivi tal-Parlament Ewropew dehru sew waqt li l-populiżmu tat-taxxi u stqarrijiet ġeneralizzati ħadu post proċeduri oġġettivi. Sfortunatament dan iqajjem dubju dwar il-kredibbilità u l-effettività tad-dritt ta’ inkjesta mill-Parlament Ewropew.